In the wake of Oregon's last mass shooting—the killing of two people by a gunman at Clackamas Town Center mall—state lawmakers successfully pressed for tougher gun-control laws.
The Oct. 1 killing of nine people at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg has renewed calls for stricter gun-control laws, including by U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).
But Oregon's fiercest champion of tougher gun regulations says not to expect quick fixes.
State Sen. Ginny Burdick (D-Portland) won a caucus election Sept. 28, moving up to become Senate majority leader. Burdick led the successful 2014 drive to pass universal background checks on gun buyers, the first gun-control law passed by the Oregon Legislature in more than a decade.
She tells WW she doesn't expect any new gun bills in the short 2016 session—but is beginning discussions for 2017.
"There's great urgency to it," Burdick says. "People are still in shock. Now is the time to start some serious conversations."
Burdick says those discussions might include further strengthening background checks to flag people with mental illnesses. But she warns that persuading downstate lawmakers won't be easy.
"I don't know that we'll be able to get there in 2016 with an approach that people from all ends of the spectrum can feel comfortable with," she says. "Some people in the rural areas feel that people in the city don't understand them, don't understand the role that guns play in their culture."
That's certainly in evidence in Roseburg, where residents say the shooting taught them to buy more guns.
Roseburg citizens greeted President Barack Obama with protests this morning during his private visit with families of the Umpqua Community College shooting victims.
Emily Sinovic, a reporter with WW's news partner KATU-TV, took video of the protest.